Frequently Asked Questions
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Listed below are a series of frequently asked questions (FAQ) and answers related to Timecard and EService in general. If there is insufficient information provided, or you wish to learn more about the suggested answers, please contact an ECONZ Integration Consultant.
Is there a demo program or example file to learn how to use the SOAP API ?
Yes, contained in this site are a number of Test Clients which can be used to connect to the Developer "Sandpit" system to test and examine the use of web services EService and Timecard. There are also links to download the original the source code for the Test Clients, and a downloadable document containing an overview of the services.
Is export via file possible ?
Yes, directly from the Website, data can be exported as HTML files, and as CSV (Comma Separated Value) files, which can be read by most programs. Additionally application specific software can be developed to read data from the SOAP interface, and write that data out to any format that is required.
Does the ECONZ dispatch application have the ability to import dispatch data from an existing dispatch system ?
The SOAP API was originally designed and built for exactly this purpose. The API has been developed as a SOAP XML Web Service, which means it is based on a widely supported standard, and is supported by many languages and operating systems. Most developer environments, such as Microsoft's Visual Studio, and IBM's Eclipse-based Developer Environments, directly support Web Service integration. Depending on the sophistication of the dispatch system, a module can be written and added to it to allow it to directly communicate with EService, or a stand-alone application can act as a go-between, transferring data between EService and the dispatch system.
When a SOAP connection is dropped (due to loss of connectivity for example), how does the customer's SOAP interface get status updated for jobs that have been updated by the Mobile Device during the outage?
There are several ways of doing this. The first is to wait until connectivity is re-established. Then, query the EService server for the details of all jobs that are in an open state in the client database. The job details returned will include all state updates from the Mobile Device from the moment it was created, to the moment requested, with time stamps for every job event. Simply load the data into the client database.
Secondly, you can request the job details of all jobs created or updated between 2 time periods, use the last known good transmission time as the start time, and "now" as the end time, and you will get the job details of all jobs that were updated in that time period.
Thirdly, there is a system for marking jobs as synchronized on EService. If the client SOAP interface is using this system to mark jobs as they receive updates, after the outage, the client interface can simply request all unsynchronized jobs to receive the details of all jobs that have been updated during the connection downtime.
How do I get real time monitoring of jobs and their current state ?
EService can be configured to send real time updates of jobs and their states to an external Web Service on a customers' internet server, providing it implements the EService CallBack Interface. A WSDL descriptor file of the interface is available on request.
Can multiple field devices / workers be assigned to the same job ?
There is a one-to-one relationship between an EService job, and the field worker to which it is assigned. However, with appropriate setting changes, it is possible to ensure that each job created for the field workers on the same client job, are created with the same external reference for the job. It is then the task of the external application to coordinate the status and progression of the job as a whole, as the field workers progress their individual tasks.
Can EService provide inter organisation Job dispatch ?
This is not a standard feature of the generic version of EService.
However, limited inter company / Organisation job dispatch functionality can be achieved if the Organisation is using the SOAP API. Job data can easily be transferred from organisation to organisation, and the resulting status updates can be transferred back to the originating organisation.
ECONZ has already developed such an application, information is available on request.
Is there a way of marking certain jobs as invoiced on my system, or marking customer records as exported ?
Each customer, resource, and job record on the EService server can be marked with any custom data you wish, along with a flag indicating whether your data is synchronized with the server record or not. This is a standard feature of the SOAP API, and further info on the methods involved can be found on the SOAP 3 Documentation page.
Can EService have a parent job that child relationships can be created and added to ?
i.e. A main job is created then sub jobs involving additional trades / resources are created under this job. The main job would not be closed until all the sub jobs have completed.
See the answer under #Can multiple field devices / workers be assigned to the same job ?
Further features are under development.
Job History Access
Is there any way for a field technician to access a history of work done to an existing customer from their Mobile Device?
They can only view what history they create against each job on the PDA up until the PDA deletes the Job. Once the job is deleted from the Mobile Device there is no further access to history.
Two ways this may be dealt with:
- When the Dispatcher sends out the job, previous history is cut and pasted into the notes field with the job.
- A WAP or HTTP interface could be developed (making use of the EService SOAP interface to retrieve data) to serve up the job history to the mobile technicians browser on their phone. The technician could then look up the relevant history when required.
Time Sheet Tracking (Clock in / Clock Out)
Is there anyway for EService to accommodate a time sheeting function (clock in / clock out each day)?
This feature is available in all mobile clients (which includes J2ME, BREW, Android, iPhone and TotalCross). The dispatcher can look at the device page at any given time and see who is logged in and who is not and copy this info into XL. Otherwise the technician's productivity can be reported on using reports.
Currently Time Sheet Tracking of Clock in / Cock Out functionality is only fully provided for with the timecard application.
Printing on site from PDA
Can mobile staff print invoices/job summaries on site (direct from PDA) with signature?
Yes this feature is in version 3.15 and above of the SuperWaba field client application.
How do I change which server the test program connects to?
You need to find the EService CS Full Client.exe.config file located usually on "C:\Program Files (x86)\ECONZ\EService CS Full Client" or the folder you selected to install the application. Then, change the value to
<?xml version="1.0" encoding="utf-8"?> <configuration> <appSettings> <add key="DisplayPanelDataStorage.EServiceSoapAPI.NADS3" value="http://eserviceweb.econz.com/axis/services/NADS3"/> </appSettings> </configuration>